What is a leveling drag? It is a tool that can help you make short work of yard maintenance that would otherwise take hours. So, basically, you build something to make life easier for yourself. You can always buy one. But how to build a leveling drag and save money?
If you carefully repurpose some stuff, you can easily make your own leveling drag. When your lawn needs leveling and you want to save some money, here is what you can do. There is no need to spend hundreds of dollars on a harrow or a garden tractor.
The easiest and simplest way for how to build a leveling drag is to modify a section of chain link fence and attach it to a rope you can pull. With that you can solve your uneven ground problem. But there are other ways. Do not worry, we will explain each one of them.
Before we begin
Before we begin talking about how to build a leveling drag, understand that a lawn should not be perfectly flat. There are two times when you need to have high or low areas in your landscape. Yes, uneven areas can be problematic. But you can solve it.
The first one is swale, a low area kind of like a gutter for your lawn. Swale allows proper drainage or runoff down to the curb or street.
The other is positive drainage, a grading around your house or other building. It is a bit higher in foundation and slopes downward in order to move rain and melted snow away.
But that is it. If your lawn has lumps, low spots, and bumps, using a leveling drag will balance things out. Let’s talk more about it.
What is a leveling drag?
Simply put, as the name suggests, a leveling drag is a tool specially designed to level a yard, parking lot, gravel driveway, and other surfaces. These tools can be manufactured commercially and are made of heavy-duty steel and high-quality powder coating.
They offer durability and resistance to rust and corrosion. The problem is a commercially-made leveling drag costs hundreds of dollars.
If you are tight on a budget, you can craft a DIY leveling drag and use it on your property.
Uses for leveling drags
Generally speaking, leveling drags help smooth out minor bumps, make your lawn more even, and make it significantly easier to mow without cutting too high, too low, or hitting a bad spot.
If you have low spots or holes in your lawn, you will have to fill them first, and then use a leveling drag. You can do it by adding soil or compost to the affected area.
Leveling drags can be pulled by hand, or attached to a rider mower or garden tractor. Pulling a drag mot over loose soil pulls up rocks and organic debris as well.
The good news is that when you make your own leveling drag, storage is easy. Just roll it up in some convenient corner of your garage.
How does it work?
We said that a leveling drag can be pulled by hand or attached to an outside force. Pulling the leveler back and forth over an area will even out any bumps in the terrain.
There is no size limit for using a leveling drag. You can use it for a large yard, or a small one. The difference is an expensive and commercial leveling drag will get the job done faster.
How to build a leveling drag from a chain link fence?
As we said in the beginning, this is probably the easiest way to build a leveling drag. For this method, you will need a piece of chain link fence, which is four feet wide and six feet long. It can be longer, but it is easier to work with a six feet section. Then, you need a knife and 15 feet of 3/8 diameter rope.
Start by cutting the rope. Place the section of the chain link fence on a flat and hard surface. Cut a section of rope approximately 6 feet long. If you work with a longer chain link, it does not have to be longer than six feet. You will attach the rope to the 4-foot side, which is the height of the fence when it stands up.
Then, tie one end of the rope to the left side of the 4-foot side of the section of the fence. Continue and tie the other end of the rope to the right side. Pull on the center of the rope and make a V shape.
If you want to drag the level by hand, you can make it easier for you. Make a loop in the free end of the rope. Because chain link fencing can roll up, prevent it by placing heavy objects on the drag when you use it. Think of bricks, blocks, and boards.
But if you have to work with a large area, you will need to attach it to a utility tractor to solve the uneven ground problem.
How to build a leveling drag from other materials?
Not everyone has a piece of chain link fence hanging around. Some people do not have the muscle power or machine power to drag the long piece of chain link fence.
There is a simple solution, and that is to build a smaller drag. For this project, you will need:
- Two pieces of sturdy metal. Think unistrut. They need to be at least two feet but no more than three feet long
- Two pieces of 6 x 6 lumber at least 2 feet long but no more than 4 feet
- Ten feet of 3/8 rope
Start by gathering lumber. You need at least 2 feet long each. It is OK if it is cut longer, but no shorter. Otherwise, you will spend a lot of time dragging the leveling drag back and forth.
Connect the two pieces of lumber to something two feet long, the two pieces of sturdy metal. It has to be level. Screw the two ends of your metal pieces into the lumber pieces. It will keep pressure on the drag.
When you attach the connecting metal pieces to the lumber, flip it over. This way, the connecting pieces are on the floor when you are working. Attach one end of the rope to the middle of the first cross-member and the other end to the rider mower. Now, off you go.
What else can you use?
If you do not have access to a chain link fence or lumber, you have to get creative. This is where you can try using old bed springs, wooden pallets, or even scrap rails.
All you have to do is attach one end of a 10-foot segment of 3/8 rope to the wooden pallet or old box springs. And there you have it, a DIY leveling drag. The other end attaches to the tractor or you grip it to pull the drag back and forth.